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COTPA Act to ban hookah bar, tobacco products: Karnataka Health Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao

Bengaluru: Karnataka Health Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao said on Tuesday that the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) would be amended to ban hookah bars and tobacco products in the state for people below 21 years of age. 

Minister Rao held a meeting with Health Department officials along with Sports Minister B Nagendra at Vikas Soudha in Bengaluru on Wednesday and discussed the banning of other tobacco products in public places.

Rao increased the minimum age for tobacco consumption. He proposed to revise the law for those above 18 years of age to buy tobacco. Rao said that he would amend the COTPA Act to allow people above 21 years of age to consume tobacco.

He clarified that this ban is being imposed on the purchase of tobacco products for those under the age of 21 years. The sale of drugs in all public places including any school, college, hospital, childcare centres, health care centre, temples, mandirs, mosques, and parks is completely prohibited.

"Today's youth are losing their precious future by being addicted to drugs. In this background, we have taken a firm decision to root out illegal activities. After consuming tobacco, youths were attracted to drugs and substance abuse. Tobacco use laid the foundation for all this," said Rao.
He said that it has been decided to amend the COTPA Act to ban the consumption and sale of other tobacco products along with cigarettes.
Minister Rao said that he will take action to ban the consumption of drugs in hookah bars in collaboration with local organizations and the police department. 

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